Redemption

So, it seems I’m a terrible blogger. No post for over a year – abysmal. But here I am, just checking in. Trying to redeem myself.

It’s a funny thing about redemption – that seems to be the theme of so many of my stories. I’m attracted to the idea that no matter what mistakes we make, despite how we mess up and do the wrong thing as we muddle through life, there is always the potential for change. There is always hope, no matter how small.

This applies to writing as well as people, I think. I wrote a really bad story last year (so bad it frightened me. I’m not being dramatic, it actually terrified me how bad it was. I had trouble continuing to write). But because I am finally learning that to create a good story, you must write a whole lot of awfulness (or middling-ness, at best), then revise, edit, change, fix … because I am finally realising that only weird genius writers actually write stuff fully-formed, I let it rest. I let the smelly, messy, bulging bag of manure just sit there in the corner. I pretended I didn’t even know it was mine, and I wrote some other bits and pieces to console myself. Finally, I opened the bag of excrement that was my story, and kind of gently poked around (with gloves on, of course), and found something in there that wasn’t poo! It smelt a bit and took me awhile to separate from the poo, but it wasn’t actual poo. Let’s just say it was grass, or a stick. Not a diamond that’s for sure.

Anyway I took that tiny section, and stretched it out; I cleaned it and brushed it, and lo! it is not too bad. I’m not saying it’s going to win any accolades, but it’s got some redeeming features. I like it.

So to any other newbie writers out there – I say don’t be afraid of the poo. Keep all your dodgy, smelly stories, and come back to them. There will be something good there, no matter how small.

And now I must go. There’s another sack waiting to be opened.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Redemption

  1. That’s great, Fiona! I’m so glad you’re blogging again and that you managed to find a pearl amongst your poo! Blogging helps the writing—well, it certainly helped mine, even if every blog post isn’t as polished as it could be. As for your short story, it sounds as if you’ve done the right thing by letting it sit. I have to do that with mine, too. If you work on something too closely for too long, you end up not seeing the forest for the trees.

  2. Louise I’m glad to hear you like to leave your work to sit, too. I have heard of writers who ‘take dictation as if from God’ and end up with beautiful, polished prose, but that’s certainly not me! Hope all’s going well with your writing xx

  3. Mary

    Appreciate the encouraging words Fiona. As a bit of a manure-producer myself, it’s nice to be re-assured and be reminded we are not alone!

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